Title: Lament for the Fallen
Author: Takato Metallium
Rating: PG-13 for now~
Warnings: will be a pairing eventually, swearing, violence, possible gore, horror, death, blood
Summary: In an alternate universe, Neku Sakuraba learns an invaluable lesson on trust, friendship and lies...
Author's Notes at the end of the first chapter

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Neku Sakuraba lowered his arm as his Partner vanished into static, that stuffed pig of hers falling lifeless to the ground near the Hachiko statue. Erased by his own hand. The pink-haired Reaper behind him was giggling, but he paid her no mind, feeling a wave of power running through his body as the Pact dimmed, died with the girl (he hadn't even bothered to learn her name, really). He knew he should be feeling panicked - Partners were how one survived the Reaper's Game after all - but all he was feeling was relief, bliss and ecstasy all in one. Who knew killing someone could bring about such feelings...?

"Hey!" As one, he and the Reaper girl turned to see a man approaching them, his face grimly set behind dark specs, hands in the pockets of his slacks. "You know that was a rule breaking, Yashiro."

"Oh, give me a break!" Yashiro said with a deep sigh, crossing her arms under her breasts as she eyed the older man. "The little twerp wasn't to know that I can't give missions because I'm not Game Master, which means I didn't break any rules, just bended the truth a little bit. After all..." she smirked at the red-head. "...he does get out of the Reaper's Game...through erasure of course!" The pink-haired Reaper giggled maliciously and vanished from the area.

"Damned bitch tricked me!" Neku's body was shaking with rage, his fists clenched at his sides. "Next time I see her, she's the one who'll be erased!"

"Whoa, calm down kiddo." The man closed the distance between them, looking down at the red-haired Player with studying hazel eyes. "After their Partner is erased, a Player has seven minutes left to live before they, too, are erased. You have less than five, and..."

A giggle seemed to come out of nowhere and the man sighed, Neku looking around before the air seemed to shimmer and a pale-haired boy about his age appeared next to the older man, his arms crossed languidly. "Oh come now, Sanae...you can't seriously think this one will want to pair up with her Pin after he so coldly killed her, hm?" The boy tapped a finger to his chin, smiling wickedly.

The man - apparently called Sanae - sighed again, running his hand through his short hair. "Boss...whatever you're planning on doing with this one, do it quickly. Time's a'wastin'."

"What the Hell are you freaks babbling abo..." Neku was cut off when the other teenager closed the distance between them, the smile on his lips curling further, his pale violet eyes half-lidded.

"Tell me, Neku Sakuraba...what do you desire in life? Money? Power? Fame?...Friends, perhaps?" the pale-haired teenager cooed, reaching out and trailing his fingers along Neku's jaw line, smile soft and alluring and Neku resisted the urge to lean into his touch, pulling away.

"None of those," he hissed, his eyes narrowing more at the other teen. "I desire nothing."

"Then..." A quirk of his lips as the man disappeared, leaving them to it. "...Become one of my Reapers. I could use someone cold like you in my ranks, Neku dear. Cold, heartless...mmm, yes~"

"iYour/i Reapers...?!" Neku pulled back a little, turning his head away to look at his hands that were slowly beginning to fade. He didn't have much time left. "...Fine." He lowered his hands and looked at the other teenager. "I accept. I'll become a Reaper."

He giggled, smirk hidden behind his hand as he leant forward, brushing his fingertips over Neku's lips before pressing his lips to the red-head's in a soft, sweet kiss. Neku made as though to push him away before he felt a jolt of power flowing through him, pulsating through his veins. His vision blurred and he stumbled back, falling into waiting arms.

Joshua Kiryuu smiled as the timer bled out on Neku's hand, licking the blood from his hand as he watched his unconscious form in his arms. "Welcome to the ranks, my dear sweet little Reaper," he cooed, disappearing with the red-head, the chatter of the people around the statue of Hachiko raising higher and higher, almost like Music...

- end prologue -

Author's Notes: Okay, so this idea came about when I began wondering what might have happened in an alternate universe. Playing around with the idea, I began picking out bits and pieces from the game.
- The three weeks isn't happening, because Joshua hasn't decided that Shibuya needs to be erased and hasn't made the bet with Megumi, and thus also hasn't killed Neku to be his Proxy for said game.
- Neku killed Shiki on their second day as Partners, rendering him useless as a Player - Joshua has offered to grant him the position of a Reaper, no interest in him yet (if ever)
- Neku will be partnered up with another Reaper for training (my brain kept gravitating towards the idea of 777, though I'm also thinking Minamimoto now)
- Neku's new appearance hasn't been decided on (since I'm going by the assumption that people change appearances when they become a Reaper), nor has the factor of his death since it wasn't Josh and his paintroller gun X3 Critique and suggestions are needed and appreciated for the first chapter to be written~ I hope everyone enjoyed *bows*